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Hello Project Campaign Aims To Get Kiwis Looking Out, Checking In, And Saving Lives Of Elderly

Have you ever wondered about the value of a simple “Hello”?

Ever thought how that simple act every day can be the difference in someone’s day?

Or in someone’s life?

This is the simple idea behind a campaign by Kiwi adman and owner of Waitapu Group (including advertising agency, Stanley St), Greg Partington to get Kiwis looking out, checking in, and saving lives by keeping an eye on our elderly neighbours and loved ones.

On 8 September 2021, this reality struck close to home for Greg Partington when he found his mother, Mary, lying on her kitchen floor. She’d suffered a debilitating stroke to the left side of her brain.

Distressed, hurt and unable to move, she lay there alone for 20 hours. Not through any lack of care, but there were signals that all was not well. Her home lights were blaring all night as was the TV.

Greg Partington says that since this tragic incident he’s become aware of many other Kiwis with similar experiences and he wanted to change things for the better.

So Greg Partington is doing what he does best and has created an ad campaign to raise awareness and prevent our elderly from any unnecessary suffering and pain.

It is simply called "The Hello Project".

“If we can change one situation to have a positive outcome, that’s success to me,” Greg Partington says.

“All it takes is a quick hello, or making a plan with family to periodically check in with our elderly, a group to which we often forget we owe so much,”

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The campaign focuses on one sign, a simple porch light left on during the day, a subtle signal of something not being quite right.

Partington’s sister Siobhan Burke and CEO of Stanley Street advertising agency put the call out to her creative team to bring this very personal story to life .

“Looking out for signals like the one in our Hello Project ad can mean the difference between tragedy and a happy ending. Curtains that haven’t been opened, mail that hasn’t been collected, phone calls that aren’t being answered,” Siobhan Burke said.

“We wanted to portray the triggers and warning signs we need to look for in everyday life that can signal that something isn’t right,”

The Hello Project would like to acknowledge the support it has received from media partners and community organisations.

Key media partners have offered “The Hello Project” advertising space free of charge and the likes of Hato Hone, St John have assisted in the production of the campaign.

“Reaching out and checking in with our elderly relatives, friends or neighbours, even if just to say ‘hello’ may not seem like a big deal, but it is,” says Pete Loveridge, St John Deputy Chief Executive - Customers and Supporters.

“We so often get caught up in the business of our lives, especially at this time of year, that we can forget that for many, a simple conversation can make such a difference to their wellbeing.” says Loveridge.

St John says services like medical alarms and the caring caller volunteer service that support elderly and isolated people when whanau can't be around are also valuable tools to keep elderly friends and family safe.

The Hello Project is launching ahead of Christmas with a clear intent to get families discussing these issues as they get together for the holiday season.

"The Hello Project campaign is a timely reminder about recognising the role we can all play when we are near someone vulnerable and the signs to watch for to safeguard and protect their wellbeing,” Greg Partington says.

“It empowers us to build networks around any at-risk friends, family and loved ones and to make sure we are all looking out, checking in, to save lives.

“We are so grateful to those who have helped us bring this important message to life. Mum would have been so moved by this work and we could not have done it without the love and support of so many people.

“We hope from our family’s experience with our Mum that these small gestures can make a big difference in the lives of family who need support”

In loving memory of Mary Josephine Partington.

The Hello Project is a multi-platform national awareness campaign to encourage Kiwis to stop, think, reflect, and connect with our kaumātua to help broaden the circle of care and improve access to tools and technologies to those in need.

For more information go the website www.thehelloproject.nz

The Hello Project will launch on 11 December 2022 via video, radio, out of home, press, cinema and digital advertising platforms.

© Scoop Media

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